Letters to the editor: April 10, 2020

Rerouting makes sense

My mother remembered when Highway 47, built in the late 1920s, divided the family’s now Century Farm into two sections.

It was, of course, not the most efficient from a farming standpoint. And there have been few improvements in the Yamhill County section since.

The realignment being proposed to deal with truck traffic through Carlton, routing traffic around the downtown area on Pine and Monroe streets, is the first major improvement to come along in more than 90 years. It makes a lot of sense.

According to Starla Pointer’s News-Register article of March 5, “Carlton has had a proposal for this route in its Transportation Master Plan for years.” So this should come as no shock to Ken Wright, who is opposed.

Thinking back 40 or 50 years, Newberg opposed a 99W bypass, fearing harm to its downtown business section. But as traffic volume through town increased, the current bypass was built at considerably more cost and disruption.

I would hate to see another bypass dividing up more farmland between Gaston and Highway 99W than the current Highway 47.

Highway 47 does not need a major bypass around Yamhill and Carlton. What it needs are major safety improvements

Once the reroute project in Carlton is completed, perhaps the Oregon Department of Transportation will address the safety issues that exist on Highway 47 between Gaston and Highway 99W. It would be ideal if this could be done while maintaining the rural and scenic character of the area.

Gordon Dromgoole



Serving from home front

The people on the frontlines of fighting this virus are heroes.

Their loved ones are also heroes. They say goodbye every day knowing that their loved ones are putting themselves at risk for the greater good and stand by them.

Those at home are taking risks, too. When the door closes, those at home are left with a big knot in their heart and stomach, wondering what will come back in the door with their loved ones — coronavirus?

It isn’t easy to support the heroes from home. I know, because I am married to a physician.

When he took his oath to serve, it was my oath, too. I have always known that his service as a physician meant that when times got tough, I would be home without him.

If there was a major disaster or health crisis, there was no question that he would go and serve. I respected and honored this commitment.

It wasn’t easy to be the one left to fend for yourself and the family when a crisis hit. But it had to be done. We are both retired now.

We long to be on the frontlines with our former colleagues, but this is not our time. We stay home while others fight on the front.

We do, however, understand the commitment of those who do he work. In some ways, we even envy them. It’s hard to sit home when chaos reigns. Everyone’s situation is different. At this point, the right thing to do is to stay home unless you provide an essential service to the community.

Lots has been written about the people who are serving. But remember, they have families.

I also honor the people who support our service providers from home. They, too, are heroes.

Kris Bledsoe



Enough lifeboats for all

The Titanic story: A luxury liner hit an iceberg and sank with huge loss of life.

There were two worlds on board. The above-deck world of luxury and privilege and the below-deck world of the common people.

Above-deck life was a vacation party, below-deck a crowded commute. Which world you traveled in would determine whether you got a seat in a lifeboat.

Criminal negligence resulted in lifeboat seats for only a fraction of the passengers and crew. The women and children who traveled above deck got the lifeboats. Most of their men stayed and died.

The people below weren’t allowed on deck until the lifeboats had left. The common men, woman and children stayed and died.

Today we see these same privileged people daily announcing their coronavirus tests — tests unavailable to those of us traveling in steerage class. They have access to tests, masks and treatment. We don’t.

We as voters need to elect people who believe in the theory that every ship should have lifeboats for all aboard, regardless of their bank balance or family ties.

Fred Fawcett



Trump not up to job

Anyone who knows anything about dangerous viruses has known for weeks what had to be done.

If A) a virus is highly contagious from person to person; goes symptom-free 20% to 30% of the time; is contagious before any test can identify it; and lacks any effective treatment. Then B) the ONLY way to slow disease and decrease mortality is to make it very difficult for the virus to spread.

Because of modern humanity’s tendency to move from place to place — within a room, building, community, state, nation, continent or planet — all people everywhere may potentially be exposed. Therefore, that mobility must cease and people must remain separated via distance or physical barriers. Wistful thinking will not and cannot be effective.

That means C) effective action would, of necessity, be extremely difficult for the economy. But the alternative would be a modern repetition, only more severe, of the 1918 pandemic that killed 50 million people.

Fortunately, most of our ancestors survived. But they remembered the devastation, death and fear the rest of their lives.

I resolve then D) that true leaders must be factual and truthful, that they must lead by example. It is unacceptable for a leader to issue pronouncements he “hopes” will prove “reassuring,” when, in fact, they are inaccurate, misleading and demonstrably wrong.

Trump is afraid. He’s afraid of the political fallout from from taking a strong position or leading by example. He’s also afraid of the economic fallout, fearing it would dim his re-election prospects. He’s afraid of anything tha’s unpleasant, uncomfortable and/or expensive.

Trump just doesn’t have what it takes when the chips are down. Unlike the Navy captain he fired for sounding the alarm, he doesn’t have the intelligence, integrity, dedication or sense of mission to care for people whose lives depend on his decisions.

David Pfendler, M.D.



Time to mask up

Obviously, we are not “all in this together.”

My wife and I went shopping at WinCo this afternoon. Considerably less than 50% of the shoppers were wearing any kind of mask.

The whole purpose of masks is not to protect oneself, but others. Consciously or subconsciously, the failure to wear some kind of face covering says, “Hey, I just don’t don’t care about you other people.”


Bob Ehrhart





Bob Ehrhart

Funny story:

I’m in Safeway with my husband and as we pass an elderly man (our masks on) he says loudly “that’s just great - they let the sick ones come in” 😳

Despite what you hear... masks also protect you - the one wearing it.


I do not agree with some in the city who want to reopen everything. I realize this is a tremendous burden for businesses, but I think lives are more important. We should follow the guidelines set up by our governor, which are guidelines set up by scientists who are much more knowledgeable about this than laypersons.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable